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Don’t Make Resolutions. Make Commitments

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Bria Samuels, a trainer with GrindHouse, LLC in Homewood. (PROVIDED)
By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

Don’t make New Year’s resolutions, make commitments, said Bria Samuels, a trainer with GrindHouse LLC in Homewood.

“I don’t think people should make resolutions because they never stick to them—make commitments: a commitment to healthier eating, working out three to five times a week, drinking more water, cutting back on unhealthy snacking,” she said. “You have to change your perspective to receive the best outcomes, and that goes for anything in life.”

Also, to stick with your goals, find someone who will hold you accountable.

“It starts with the self,” said Samuels, who has been a trainer for about six months and is in the process of earning her certification. “You have to want your goals more than you want your unhealthy habits. If you need additional assistance, hire a trainer who … will motivate you and keep you encouraged.”

GrindHouse trainer Rakayle “Rock” Brown, who is co-owner of the gym with Wesley Samuels, Bria’s husband, said people should start off with manageable goals.

“Don’t set goals to where you might get discouraged if you don’t meet them within the first two weeks or a month; that’s where a lot of people fall off with resolutions,” said Brown. “Go with something simple, like changing small habits. If you [tend to choose unhealthy snacks, such as], chips or cookies, just have better replacements around or find something better as a substitute.”

Some other small better-health changes to consider, he added, can include improving sleeping habits, drinking more water, creating a schedule that enables you to make it to the gym.

“Those will add up, and you will become healthier over time,” said Brown, who encourages people to reward themselves when they meet some of those objectives.

“Say, you set a goal like, ‘I want to work out four times a week.’ At the end of the month, … take yourself out to eat, get yourself a dessert, or whatever,” he said.

Curtis Starks, 46, owner and certified trainer of Train and Burn Fitness Studio in downtown Birmingham has been training since 1996 and has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and training. He said most resolutions people make are not sustainable. A “realistic” resolution is to be consistent with working out and trying to eat right, he said.

“You’re not going to eat 100 percent clean—[fruits, vegetables, proper water and carbohydrate consumption]—all the time during the week, so don’t make a resolution, make a change. Say to yourself, ‘I’m not going to make this a temporary solution for myself.’ If you work out to feel good, for instance, that’s going to be more long-term. If you work out to look good, that’s going to be more short-term,” said Starks.

Darnell Green, 30, owner of BeDriven Fit Factory in Bessemer and a certified personal trainer, said nutrition is important when it comes to keeping any fitness resolution.

“Try to erase a bad habit and replace it with a good habit,” he said. “If you usually drink sodas, try to increase your water intake. If you’re usually a big sweets person, try to cut back on them and eat more vegetables. Do [those things] in 30-day increments, though, so it’s not like you’re taking away sweets, sodas, fast foods, and all of this other stuff; [that can make you] crash and burn. Focus on one thing at a time and give each one 30 days. That way, you can build a habit and move on to the next thing.”

GrindHouse’s Brown said the first step is the most important: “A lot of people talk about what they want to do but never take that first step because of the pain they may feel or because they think it’s going to take a really long time. You have to just walk into a gym and get a consultation or talk to a trainer.”

“Just start doing something, no matter what it is. Once you take that first step, it is easier to take that second one and just keep moving,” Brown added.